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Pressuretrol setting (with PICS)

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grye
grye Member Posts: 88
edited November 2017 in THE MAIN WALL
Hi. Having an issue with one radiator not getting warm at all. I posted and someone suggested I adjust my pressuretrol setting. Not sure if this was to fix the issue or just fixing the setting.

My question is if I can adjust this while the boiler is hot or do I have to shut it down?

And, I guess a second opinion on what the pressuretrol should be set at.

One pipe steam system. 9 radiators, oil burner.

Here is the original post for the cold radiator:
https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/163415/nursery-room-radiator-cold-with-pics

Thanks

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,419
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    Set way too high. Use the cute little screw on the top of the thing to adjust the visible indicator down to just about the .5 line. You can do this anytime -- boiler firing or not. Doesn't matter (although the boiler might shut down on pressure as you do it -- not to worry; it should come right back on when the pressure drops).

    I doubt that that will have much effect on that cold radiator. That's much more likely to be a venting problem (stuck shut) is this is one pipe steam, or a bad trap if it's two pipe.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,607
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    Some are fixated on pressure controls and their settings.

    That is only an issue if your pressure is too high.

    Do you ever see pressure on the pressure gage....probably not.

    If you don't see any pressure on the gage after or during a normal run cycle leave the pressure control adjustments ALONE. It's very unlikely to be the cause of your one radiator not heating
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,074
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    I'll agree with Ed on that for now.

    Do you ever have any water hammer?

    You need to get that book "We Got Steam Heat!"

    Switch air vents.....maybe shut down other rads.

    Post pictures of how the cold water is connected to the boiler, include all devices and valves that are in the piping.

    Move the Ice melt salt well away from the boiler, many chemicals contribute to the demise of boilers/furnaces.
    (this is not causing your heating problems)
  • grye
    grye Member Posts: 88
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  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,074
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    So there is only one valve in the copper water line that fills the boiler? The one with the round handle above the copper union fitting? That looks to be a globe valve, if so it would have a rubber washer inside it that could be worn out and allowing water to pass. If worn you have to shut it off very tight, sometimes with a pliers.

    A simple test would be to have the boiler shut down and cool/cold. With that valve shut off if you loosen the union (using 2 wrenches/pliers) under it and if you have no water flowing, then you could open the union and see if the valve is dripping.
    If you keep gaining water that may be the reason.
    They are repairable, watch a Utube for washer replacement. You will have to shut off the water for the entire house and you need good tools.

    When you are heating does the boiler cycle on and off a lot?
    You have a "Cycle Guard" low water cutoff which could stop and restart the boiler and maybe lead to the steam not getting to the cold rad.

    Again the water valve seeping and the lack of heat are not connected.......2 different problems.
  • grye
    grye Member Posts: 88
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    @JUGHNE
    Thanks! I’ll probably replace that whole globe valve. You’re right, that has to be the reason for the added water. When I drained it, the water in the glass gauge is now dirty. Is that a problem? It was clean before.

    I’m not sure about the boiler cycling on and off or what would be abnormal. Tomorrow I’m going to jack the heat up and see how it cycles.
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,426
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    I have to disagree with @EBEBRATT-Ed on this one. I’ve solved many a radiator not heating by testing the pressuretrol and properly adjusting. It should not be overlooked. Right now, it’s set to cut IN at 2...so after it’s first cycle on a given call for heat it won’t allow a drop in pressure below 2. You need to address what is obviously wrong first. Then move on from there.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,607
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    @Danny Scully , your assuming the boiler is building pressure and cycling on the pressure control. As I mentioned above:

    "That is only an issue if your pressure is too high.

    Do you ever see pressure on the pressure gage....probably not.

    If you don't see any pressure on the gage after or during a normal run cycle leave the pressure control adjustments ALONE. It's very unlikely to be the cause of your one radiator not heating"

    And another thought.
    In a house job the pressure control is a safety high limit NOT the operating control. That would be the thermostat.

    With proper venting a house should never have to build steam pressure to heat the building.

    I find all the talk about pressure control settings to be a non issue .......It's just not an operating control. Unless it's building pressure which it shouldn't be. It's a high limit set it and forget it

  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    @EBEBRATT-Ed , there is no good reason to leave the settings at incorrect pressures. It's not like it takes more than two minutes to set it correctly and be done with it. We don't know if the boiler is over-sized, like most are and tends to short cycle when the temps get low enough or if the Home Owner uses set backs that cause the boiler to run for extended periods to satisfy the thermostat. In any case what is the problem setting the Pressuretrol where we all know it belongs? Yes, it is primarily a safety device but in many cases, it also serves as a control device and good main venting certainly helps but still can only do so much. Once they close, they are closed and pressure from extended run times on an over sized boiler, especially with set-backs is an issue.
    Danny Scully
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,607
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    @Fred,
    just a difference of opinion, I am looking at things from a different angle....maybe the wrong angle.

    cause if it is serving as a control device then a second pressure control (preferably manual reset) should be added.

    Also, I have noticed from several homeowner posts on this site that they (the homeowners) are thinking something is wrong if they do not see pressure on their steam gage. I think we are giving the wrong impression with 0-5 psi gages and adjusting pressure controls and some are thinking that they are supposed to be seeing pressure on their gage...when in fact they should not in a well operated system.

    If the system is operating properly the pressure control could be set anywhere below 15 psi. It's just sitting their as a high limit in case something goes wrong which is what it's intended purpose is.
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,426
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    Exactly @Fred. There is a lot of assumption on your end @EBEBRATT-Ed. I’m proposing eliminating assumptions and testing the pressuretrol and setting it correctly. After all, it is a safety device. Then, move on down the list.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    @EBEBRATT-Ed , what you are saying is absolutely true but we need to educate those who question why they see no pressure on their gauges and those who have improperly set controls/safety devices. A Pressuretrol is a somewhat unique device in that it is often called into action when a boiler reaches a pressure that makes the system more inefficient at delivering steam, in addition to it making sure the boiler doesn't reach a pressure that puts people and property at risk.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,419
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    And, @EBEBRATT-Ed -- I completely agree with your point that the if the pressuretrol is being used as a control device -- which it often is, since a slightly to really oversized boiler is not uncommon -- it should be backed up with a second (at least!) pressuretrol, preferably one with a manual reset -- and preferably on a completely independent pigtail and boiler or header tap.

    Which is why Cedric is the proud possessor of a vapourstat, which is on a tap on the header, which is a control device (and, in fact, is a backup to the Hoffman Differential Loop -- but that's another story) (with a 0 to 3 psi gauge) , a standard pressuretrol on one boiler tap and pigtail (which has the 30psi gauge on it too) -- and a third, manual reset pressuretrol on yet another boiler tap and pigtail.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England